Australian Sarah Jane Smith surged into contention at the Wegmans LPGA Championship after posting a second round of three-under-par 69 at Locust Hill Country Club, Pittsford, New York.
The 29-year-old is just three off the lead and will be chasing American Morgan Pressel who has posted rounds of 68 and 70 on the water logged course to lead the second major of the year at six-under-par.
Pressel, a major winner, is two shots clear of Rolex Ranked World No. 1 Inbee Park (68) and first round leader Chella Choi (73). Smith shares fourth place with the South Korean pair of Jiyai Shin (73) and Amy Yang (70). While Scotland’s Catriona Matthew (71), Americans Angela Stanford (71) and Brittany Lincicome (73) and South Korean Sun Young Yoo (69) round out the top ten a further shot back and right in the mix.
Smith, who started her second round on the back nine, got off to the perfect start with a birdie on the 10th hole. She then followed it up with another at the par 3 15th hole to go out in two-under, 35. Another two birdies on the 2nd and 4th holes saw her move to four-under-par for her round and the tournament. However, a bogey on the par 3 7th meant she came home in one-under 34.
The Queenslander will be hoping all the fitness work her and her husband (and caddy) Duane has done for years will come to fruition, when the final 36 holes will be played in one-day. It will be a great experience for the talented player who has recorded four top 10 in her LPGA career.
Of the other Australians in the field, Karrie Webb and Bre Elliott where the only others to make the cut. Webb (72) is at four-over total and tied for 47th, while Elliott (74) is at five-over and tied for 60st position. It was a great effort for Elliott to make the cut in her first appearance in a major.
The cut was made at six-over-par and unfortunately for Australia Lindsey Wright (+8), Sarah Kemp (+10), Katherine Hull-Kirk (+10) and Julia Boland (+15) all missed out.
Defending champion Shanshan Feng is within striking distance at even-par after a two-under round of 70. The other player of interest for Australia is New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, she fought back well in the second round to fire a two-under-par 70, seven shots better than her opening round, to make the cut. Ko is at three-over and tied for 40th.